Price: $310.00

    Code: 2178

    Directed by: Ata Hayati
    2004, 52 minutes
    Purchase: $310 Classroom Rental: $125

    Revealing an aspect of Iranian society rarely exposed to the West, A Brief Peace looks at Iran's distinctive culture of death.

    Twenty years after the disappearance of the young Iranian Ali, his mother can finally bury him. He used to work for the Air Force and died as a martyr. At a special cemetery, Iranians who have found lost loved ones are collectively interred. Fellow mourners have had to wait in line to make a reservation for a tombstone, and one man even has the presence of mind to ask for a discount. Through a window, they watch how the corpses are wrapped in shrouds. In many cases, the only remnants are a weathered belt, an old shoe or some bones. The tombstones are meticulously engraved, complete with a portrait of the deceased carved in stone. Death is the beginning of a new life and they embrace it. A Brief Peace presents the culture of death in Iran, depicting how close death and life, laughter and tears, or sadness and happiness can be. The cemetery is a rendezvous, a picnic place, a play ground and a training place for the soldiers.

    Subjects & Collections

    Festivals & Awards

    * Official Selection, International Film Festival Amsterdam
    * Official Selection, Brooklyn International Film Festival


    “Fascinating. This documentary, perhaps one of a kind, presents the culture of death in Iran by a visit to Teheran’s biggest cemetery, Behesht Zahra. It captures every conceivable aspect: the bureaucracy and haggling that surrounds buying a burial plot; mourners viewing their relatives being washed and wrapped in shrouds prior to being sent on a conveyor belt to the graveyard; identifying victims of war by simply rumbling through skeletal remnants; artisans creating elaborate stone markers featuring etched portraits of the deceased; the picnic-like gatherings of visitors; the surrounding playgrounds; the flower peddlers making a buck or two; and soldiers training in the surrounding grounds.” - Educational Media Reviews Online